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My partner is having an extramarital affair. What should I do?

May 3, 2022

6 min read

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Author : United We Care
My partner is having an extramarital affair. What should I do?


An extramarital affair is a betrayal of trust in a married relationship if a husband or wife is in a prolonged romantic relationship with a third person [1]. The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines an extramarital affair as an intense emotional relationship between a married person and another individual who is not their spouse.

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What is an extramarital affair? 

The extramarital affair involves two people in a romantic relationship where one or both partners are married to someone else. Cheating on one’s spouse is a common element in all extramarital affairs. Extramarital affairs can be of different types depending upon the circumstances and limits set by individuals in such relationships.
An extramarital affair usually involves a purely physical relationship, as both partners are interested in sexual pleasures. As the excitement and interest in sex wear off, a clandestine relationship can come to an abrupt end.  
An extramarital affair may also be a deep emotional attachment. Although such a relationship does not involve sexual intercourse, it is also a betrayal. In a passionate affair, both partners share secret intimate feelings. They experience sexual attraction and may develop a sexual relationship at some stage of the relationship. An emotional affair is an act of adultery even if they do not have a physical relationship.

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Reasons behind why you are having an extramarital affair

Several factors can trigger an extramarital experience. People get involved in extramarital expertise to fill up a void or find an escape from a strained marriage. Consider the following reasons to know why someone may jeopardize their married life by cheating on their spouse.

  1. Married life lacks romance – Several married couples communicate with each other only to discuss worldly matters like bills and daily chores. The absence of a deep emotional attachment can lead to the desire for an emotional bond with a third person.
  2. Emotional isolation– Suppressing your feelings and emotions can lead to emotional isolation. If one partner does not react to the highly outspoken spouse, it can lead to loneliness in the relationship. Unresolved differences can build walls between you and your spouse.
  3. Falling prey to temptation – Some critical moments in life test your mental resolve. Giving in to temptation can ruin your marriage.

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Is it OK to have an extramarital affair?

People in extramarital relationships have their unique ways of justifying such relationships, primarily out of feelings of guilt. However, there can never be any proper justification for entering an illicit relationship. Instead, such relationships can ruin a healthy marriage and have devastating effects on children.

  1. An affair can be overwhelming as it ruins the physical and mental health of the person because of the stress. 
  2. Surprisingly, an experience can help restore your marriage. Some individuals realize the value of the institution, that is, marriage. Many individuals can identify issues and problems in the union after entering into an extramarital relationship.
  3. Sometimes, the affair helps a person find ways to improve their relationship with the spouse. 
  4. An extramarital relationship can help break the monotony of married life. Stress at the workplace and dull life can rob the romance in married life. 
  5. A person could regain the confidence of having a romantic relationship because of an affair. 
  6. However, it does not mean that an extramarital affair will be a remedy for your unromantic married life.

Should you feel guilty about having an affair? 

  1. Having an extramarital affair is proof that you enjoy the company of your lover more than your spouse.
  2. As you are sorry for the spouse you are cheating on, there is regret at the back of your mind. The feeling of remorse makes the person in an extramarital affair emotionally weaker. The guilt can impact the self-esteem and confidence of the person.
  3. It is natural to feel guilty if you enjoy yourself with your lover and your spouse is busy looking after your house and kids. 
  4. Guilt is constructive in several ways, as it can encourage the person to come out of an extramarital affair. Many affairs end when one or both partners have overwhelming guilt about cheating on their spouse. 
  5. The feeling of regret can develop at any relationship stage. The earlier you start feeling sorry for your spouse, the better.

How to come out of an extramarital affair?

Nobody wants to live life on the edge, and affairs can take a heavy toll on your health and family life. Ending an illicit relationship is a wise thing to do for better health and happiness in life. The affair will end after someone catches you in the act. An incident like this can ruin two lives and two families simultaneously. It is better to stop before it happens.

  1. The first step to coming out of an extramarital affair is to tell the lover about your decision. 
  2. Keep the conversation as short as possible because explaining or justifying your decision will lead to a long discussion. 
  3. Your lover may use emotional tactics to force you to think again. 
  4. Do not look back when you leave after informing your lover about your final decision to end the relationship.
  5. Stop contacting your lover after this, as it will only lead to complications and emotional outbursts
  6. Be firm with your decision and focus on your spouse. It is better to share with your spouse and convince them that everything is over.

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Suppose your partner thinks they are stuck in an unromantic marriage, experiencing conflict, monotony, or stress, Irrespective of these reasons. In that case, cheating is cheating may be inclined to enter an extramarital affair.
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[1]D. Carr, V. A. Freedman, J. C. Cornman, and N. Schwarz, “Happy Marriage, Happy Life? Marital Quality and Subjective Well-being in Later Life,” Journal of Marriage and Family, vol. 76, no. 5, pp. 930–948, Sep. 2014, doi: 10.1111/jomf.12133. [Online]. Available: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4158846/. [Accessed: Jul. 23, 2022]

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Author : United We Care

Founded in 2020, United We Care (UWC) is providing mental health and wellness services at a global level, UWC utilizes its team of dedicated and focused professionals with expertise in mental healthcare, to solve 2 essential missing components in the market, sustained user engagement and program efficacy/outcomes.

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